All New Toyota Prius Prime Debuts in New YorkPosted by: Lydia Siu onMarch 23rd, 2016
Sometimes taking a break, re-evaluating what you are doing, and coming back refreshed is a good thing. This is what Toyota did with the Prius after stopping production last June. Now, the Prius is back better than ever. Toyota took to the New York Auto Show to showcase their latest iteration of the Prius which is now called the Prius Prime.
The plug-in hybrid now packs an 8.8-kwh battery and can get an estimated range of 22 miles on full electric power. Toyota clearly took the break time with the Prius seriously and re-evaluated the cars capabilities as the last generation Prius was only capable of 6 miles on all electric power. This was mission critical for the Japanese automaker as consumers who purchase plug-in hybrids are seeking cars that give the most range from the electrical output. No doubt when combined with the onboard gas motor range isn’t an issue, but the comparison point will always be “how far can I get on just electric power?” The redesigned Prius Prime puts it right in the middle of the pact when it comes to EV range with Ford’s Fusion on the low end at 19 miles and Chevy’s Volt on the top end at 53 miles. As is, the Prius Prime offers a total range from the 11.3-gallon tank and electric power at more than 600 miles.
The Prius Prime gets one big change on the inside for 2017 which is the deletion of the rear middle seat. This was done to house the larger 8.8kwh battery. Infotainment is available via an 11.6-inch HD display with its top Entune multimedia system. A head-up display function is built in for driver aid and wireless phone charging capabilities provide a nice feature for passengers. Always striving for more energy savings, the Prius Prime senses when passengers are in the vehicle and by specific seat and direct airflow only to those occupants. When less passengers are in the car, the Prius Prime will require less power to run the onboard climate control system.
Although not designed to be a performance oriented vehicle, the Prius Prime still got some new updates in the chassis and suspension department which helps give the car better handling characteristics. Overall, the Prius Prime is now a solid contender in the plug in EV space and will definitely be stiff competition for other automakers.